Strata may be a little-known brand to many women but it has a rich history in golf and it’s great to see it making a comeback. This all-encompassing 16-piece package set is perfect for beginners or lady golfers wanting something more user friendly.
Attractive purple, black and white color scheme
Easy to hit
Comes in a stylish, practical stand bag
Not customizable and no left-hand option
Irons feel a little head heavy to swing
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Strata was originally a brand known for making one of the very first multi-layer golf balls and, in fact, I can remember playing a fantastic soft-feeling Strata ball in the late nineties. When its parent company, Top-Flite, went bankrupt in 2002, golfing giant Callaway Golf stepped in to buy Strata and keep the brand alive.
Fast-forward two decades and it’s great to see Strata back in our shops with products like the Strata Men's golf club set, as well as the company also investing in the women’s game with this very considered set for ladies that hopes to be one of the best women's golf sets on the market.
First things first, it is made up of a 12° titanium driver, fairway wood, 4 and 5 hybrid, 6-9 iron, PW, SW and a putter, with the 11 clubs all packaged together in a tidy stand bag. In my opinion, it would make for a brilliant Christmas present idea for someone just starting out in golf, especially with Strata already known for producing some of the best golf club sets that money can buy.
The 'Ultimate' in the name comes from wanting women golfers to achieve the ultimate distance, forgiveness and performance possible. On initial inspection, the big-headed driver certainly goes a long way to achieving this. Although it might not be as fancy in terms of technology as premium lady drivers like the TaylorMade Kalea Premier, I found the Strata driver really easy to use.
Ultimately, it does exactly what it set out to achieve, which is to make tee shots fly straighter and further, particularly when put into the hands of the typical slower-swinging, less confident golfers.
Aesthetically, the clubhead has a giant footprint that, when you address the ball, looks impossible to miss. There’s no doubt you’ll feel confident that it’s going to give you a helping hand to get your tee shots airborne and, to a point, the higher they fly the further you’ll hit. The only thing I would have added is a centre alignment line or dot on the crown to help with aiming but, aside from that, it ticks all the boxes.
The 3-wood is much more compact in size, making it a great tool for multiple course scenarios. I really enjoyed the powerful flight from the tee and picking it instead of the driver on tighter holes, with a smaller margin for error, was invaluable. What I especially liked is that the face is deep enough that you can easily hit it as a more accurate alternative to a driver off the tee, although it’s arguably a little clunky from the ground.
If you’re a better player, like me, you’ll probably prefer a smaller, sleeker clubhead with a shallower face profile, like you get with the best fairway woods on the market. However, the Strata woods do power through the rough nicely, as do the handy hybrids. They’re great alternatives to long irons and much easier to hit, with small shiny black heads so you can play with more confidence on a variety of shots.
Those of you who remember the original Callaway Big Bertha irons may agree with me that the Strata Ultimate Titanium irons bear an uncanny resemblance to them. They feature the same distinctive shaped cavity back, wide soles and thick top lines which all adds up to something very easy on the eye and something that is also super easy to hit.
The only slight negative was the silver finish, which I wasn't a big fan of. The reason is because it tended to reflect bright sunlight which, in turn, bounced up into my eyes at address. I also found these irons rather head heavy, which surprised me given they are designed for slower-swinging ladies.
Moving away from the irons and to the wedges which, in this set, you get two of. One of these is a pitching wedge that works very nicely for basic chip and runs, recovery shots from the rough and approach shots, plus a sand wedge with a great big head that you can open up wide and slide under the ball - ideal for learning bunker shots.
The grooves are the same as the irons, so you won’t get much additional spin and stop but, if you’re just starting out in golf, they’re more than adequate as learner clubs.
Finally, we move on to the putter, which has a basic blade-style design with one clear white alignment line in the centre for aiming. It has a simple, traditional look. Although adequate, I can’t help but feel that a heavier mallet-style head with a bigger footprint would give beginners more of a helping hand.
The Strata ultimate set comes in a sturdy little stand bag that’s lightweight to lift with velour padded double straps that make it comfortable to carry, evenly distributing weight across your back.
What's more, it also has plenty of pockets, including a big ball pocket and an exterior scorecard holder pouch. The main side pocket isn’t huge but big enough for your waterproof jacket. It’s only shower proof (not a totally waterproof golf bag) but nevertheless a very good stand bag, giving you the freedom to choose carrying or to pop it onto a cart.
Overall, given that this entire set costs little more than some of the best golf drivers alone, it represents incredible value for money, especially because it is one of the best golf club sets for beginners out there.
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Carly Frost is one of the golf industry’s best-known female writers, having worked for golf magazines for over 20 years. As a consistent three-handicapper who plays competitive club golf at Parkstone and the Isle of Purbeck courses in Dorset every week, Carly is well-versed in what lady golfers love. Her passion for golf and skill at writing combine to give her an unbeatable insight into the ladies game.
Carly’s role at Golf Monthly is to help deliver thorough and accurate ladies equipment reviews, buying advice and comparisons to help you find exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s the latest driver, set of irons, golf ball, pair of shoes or even an outfit, Carly will help you decide what to buy.
Over the years Carly has been fortunate to play some of the greatest courses in the world. Her view ‘from the ladies tee’ is invaluable. She ranks Sea Island, Georgia, USA, where she met her husband, world-renowned golf coach Dan Frost, among her favourite golf resorts. Their aptly-named eight-year-old son Hogan is already hitting the ball as far as Mum and will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for in the future.
Carly is a keen competitor and her list of golfing achievements are vast. She is a former winner of the South West of England Ladies Intermediate Championship, a three-time winner of the European Media Masters and she once beat an entire start-sheet of men to the title of Times Corporate World Golf Champion. She has played for both the Dorset and Surrey County Ladies first teams and is known for her excellent track record at matchplay.
Carly holds the ladies course record (68) at her home club Parkstone and her lowest competition round (seven-under-par 65) was carded in the pro-am of the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle, playing alongside Solheim Cup superstar Anna Nordqvist. Although her current handicap index has crept up to 3.7 since Covid she has her sights firmly set on achieving that elusive scratch handicap and hopefully playing for her country when she’s 50.
Carly’s current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Callaway Epic Max, 10.5°
Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15°
Hybrids: Titleist TS2, 19°, 21°, 24°
Irons: Mizuno JPX900, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX, 52°, 56° and 58°
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5
Ball: 2021 Callaway Ladies SuperSoft
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